Article 370

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While the Constitution recognises in Article 370 the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Central Government's policies since 1953 have totally undermined its autonomy. Senior lawyer and political analyst A.G. NOORANI discusses both aspects and suggests a way out of the mess. "I say with all respect to our Constitution that it just does not matter what your Constitution says; if the people of Kashmir do not want it, it will not go there. Because what is the alternative? The alternative is compulsion and coercion..."
"We have fought the good fight about Kashmir on the field of battle... (and) many a chancellery of the world and in the United Nations, but, above all, we have fought this fight in
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The order of 1986 purported to apply to the State Article 249, which empowers Parliament to legislate even on a matter in the State List if a Rajya Sabha resolution so authorises it by a two-thirds vote. But it so amended Article 249 in its application to Kashmir as in effect to apply Article 248 instead - "any matter specified in the resolution, being a matter which is not enumerated in the Union List or in the Concurrent List."

The Union thus acquired the power to legislate not only on all matters in the State List, but others not mentioned in the Union List or the Concurrent List - the residuary power. In relation to other States, an amendment to the Constitution would require a two-thirds vote by both Houses of Parliament plus ratification by the States (Article 368). For Kashmir, executive orders have sufficed since 1953 and can continue till Doomsday. "Nowhere else, as far as I can see, is there any provision author ising the executive government to make amendments in the Constitution," President Rajendra Prasad pointed out to Prime Minister Nehru on September 6, 1952. Nowhere else, in the world, indeed. Is this the state of things we wish to perpetuate? Uniquely Ka shmir negotiated the terms of its membership of the Union for five months. Article 370 was adopted by the Constituent Assembly as a result of those parleys.

YET, all hell broke loose when
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